Necessity is truly the mother of invention!
Here is my story!
In an attempt to spice things up a bit in our family homeschooling I was planning on doing all things St. Valentine! So off to the library I went. Only to find that practically EVERYTHING I found was about the cute (sometimes creepy looking) cupids with love arrows, hearts, flowers, chocolate BUT nothing about the real saint!
Just to paint the picture , here is a small sampling of titles you will find if you do a library or book search: Hugs and kisses for the Grouchy Ladybug by famed author Eric Carle, Groggle Monster’s Valentine (yes, that is a real book recommended on a popular teacher website), Valentine’s Day Jokes for Kids, The Secret Life of Squirrels – a Love Story, Little Ant’s Valentine, do I need to go on???
Needless to say I was dismayed and horrified at the same time!!
Who is the saint that causes us to be wild about hearts ♥, the color red and send friends and family messages of love every February 14?
The secular world is CLUELESS.
So I made it my mission to learn the real story behind this Catholic feast day!
I began our little evangelization journey/project towards reclaiming the REAL St. Valentine from the jaws of the secular world by first learning several prayers attributed to the saint, to ask him to intercede for our family and friends.
Next I went back to the library and scoured the shelves and on-line catalog, I took out a bunch of books that looked promising and eventually found a few good books to use for our nightly read aloud time. There are not many I would recommend but these definitely passed the mustard! Each one added different facts and historic details.
- The Story of Valentine’s Day by Clyde Robert Bulla
- Saint Valentine by Robert Sabuda
- Saint Valentine by Ann Tompert
- Hearts, Cupids and Red Roses by Edna Barth
The next thing you knew I was immersing myself in the transition from the pagan rituals and the symbolism of the symbols and colors surrounding this feast day! Naturally that then brought me to the history of the feast day and story of how a Pope helped to Christianize this day, his name is Pope Gelasius. So cool right?
In true form it was the Catholic Church elevating a pagan feast day and its symbols by celebrating the feast day of an early martyr of the Church, St. Valentine.
Thus became our family tradition, to make cards that included sacred and beautiful images of the real St. Valentine, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary! We use Scripture verses that speak of REAL love.
I designed it to counts as school work, by adding notebooking sheets for our narrations, mini-book templates of various shapes and designs to have the kids write about all they learned from the history I had written for them on several reference sheets. We also added the mini-books to lapbooks too!
Handwriting practice lessons for the week included Scripture verses I had collected with God’s unending love for His children! Coloring sheets of St. Valentine, were super handy for my little ones during nightly rosary or quiet time.
And I also had holy cards designed so we could print/color and share. This collection has something for everyone in the family!
My talented daughters helped me put all of this together in a 50 page printable packet ! It is well loved by family and friends who use it year after year, as their family tradition and more importantly as an evangelization tool to tell the REAL story of St. Valentine.
For that we are grateful!
Leave a comment on your family’s journey towards evangelizing the culture by reclaiming the saints!!
You too can invite a family you know from your homeschool community or from your parish and make beautiful St. Valentine Cards or postcards to exchange or bring to neighbors! Immerse yourselves in all thing St. Valentine!